Hospital Environments

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dojomo, Apr 6, 2003.

  1. dojomo

    dojomo New Member


    Occupational exposure and environmental pollution are the major sources of hazard to human health. Metallic mercury evaporates at room temperature producing inorganic and organic compounds, and forms amalgams with many metals. In more than 50 professions, workers may be exposed to mercury, particularly in the mining and chemical industries and in agriculture. Occupational poisoning is rarely acute but it is usually chronic. The symptoms result from the damage to the central nervous system, and the kidney, as well as from the impairment of erythrocyte metabolism, coagulation and immune response. Mercury may also induce allergic reactions. Chronic mercury poisoning is diagnosed on the basis of the clinical picture in the presence of the occupational exposure.
            
    Hospitals' use of mercury in chemical solutions, thermometers, blood pressure gauges, batteries, and fluorescent lamps make them large contributors to the overall mercury emission into the environment. Most hospitals recognize the dangers of mercury. In a recent survey, 4 out of 5 hospitals asked have policies in place to eliminate the use of mercury containing products and 62% require vendors to disclose the presence of mercury in chemicals that the hospital purchases. Only 12% distribute mercury-containing thermometers to new parent. Ninety two percent teach their employees about the health and environmental effects of mercury and 46 percent teach all employees how to clean up mercury spills. However, the same study showed that many hospitals have not implemented those policies. Forty two percent were not aware if they still purchased items containing mercury. In addition, 49% still purchase mercury thermometers, 44% purchase mercury gastrointestinal diagnostic equipment, and 64% still purchase mercury lab thermometers

    The health care industry is a major contributor to environmental pollution. Through the processes of waste disposal, including incineration, the health care industry is one of the largest contributors to environmental dioxin and mercury. Mercury contamination of our waterways has created the conditions by which a significant number of fish are sufficiently mercury-laden so as to pose a human health threat. Additionally, there are products and processes within the hospital that create health risks for the patients and health care staff. There are a number of positive actions that nurses can take to address the health threats posed by these exposures. These actions include: purchasing environmentally preferable products, implementing pollution prevention actions within the health care setting, and learning more about environmental health

    I have been out of hospital work since 1998....have you working nurses really been taught the dangers? I was wondering if hospitals are having inservices on mercury now......DJ
  2. dojomo

    dojomo New Member

    My friend is an ICU nurse...a non smoker that suddenly has asthma as an adult. She says although mercury containing equipment is disappearing.....no one is saying why or teaching about the harms, or cleaning up the already contaminated areas.

    Mercury doesn't evaporate..it slowly releases vapors indefinately. I read a study that for every bed in a hospital.....you can count on 4 thermometer breaks per bed per year. If the amount in one thermometer can contaminate a 20 acre lake....HOW toxic is an older hospital?.......
    The negligence blows my mind.

    That along with the mercury in amalgams and vaccines I believe put me over the edge..........DJ
  3. beckster

    beckster New Member

    in a couple sentences about mercury and agricultural workers. thanks Beckster
  4. dojomo

    dojomo New Member

    Mercury was used as a fungicide, Alkyl mercurial compounds were used until the mid-1970s as a treatment to disinfect grain seeds. MOST other agricultural applications of mercury compounds in bactericides and fungicides have been banned due to the toxicity of mercury. It also was used in paints as a fungicide, that wasn't banned till 1991. I think golfcourses may be illegally using them still.....but thats just a rumor...........DJ